St. Elizabeth of Portugal was born in Zaragoza, Spain on January 4th, 1271. She was born to a royal family, which helped her quickly learn self-discipline and a longing for spirituality. This prepared her for the challenge of marriage at the age of 12, when she was given in marriage to Denis, king of Portugal. Elizabeth was able to live her life devoted to God through her acts of charity, such as attending mass, and her acts of piety, helping the sick, the poor, pilgrims, and others in need. At the same time she remained devoted to her husband, who was very sinful. Elizabeth long sought peace for Denis, and was finally rewarded when he gave up his life of sin. She was a peacemaker when tensions arose in several situations, even with her son and her husband, and maintained her devotion to God while carrying these burdens. Elizabeth died of hyperthermia on July 4th, 1336.
Oh God, you gave Saint Elizabeth the gift of reconciling enemies. Through her intercession, give us the courage to work for peace and charity so we may be closer to you, Amen.